The Greek Ministry of Tourism is poised to hire French agency
Edelman-Rouet to manage an international PR account aimed at stemming
the recent decline in the number of tourists visiting the country.
Last year the volume of tourists in Greece dropped significantly enough
to prompt government concern. During the peak month of July alone the
number of people visiting the country fell by 18.5 per cent to 739,000
from 908,000 the previous year. Overnight hotel stays during the same
month declined by 4.5 per cent.
Greece has faced growing competition in recent years from nearby rival
destinations such as Cyprus and Turkey. It has also become increasingly
dependent on low income mass tourism at the expense of the more affluent
traveller market. Tourism in the north of the country was also hit last
year by hostilities in neighbouring former Yugoslavia.
The tourism ministry and Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT) have
previously relied heavily on advertising, and the use of PR represents a
new initiative in their efforts to win back tourists.
Although Edelman-Rouet’s appointment has yet to be confirmed, sources
indicate that the programme, which will be run from Paris, will cover 15
countries across Europe, North America and parts of Asia. Work will be
primarily media relations-led. Edelman-Rouet won the business following
a pitch involving nine advertising and PR firms.
Although Edelman-Rouet pitched jointly with Leo Burnett, the advertising
account was awarded to Saatchi and Saatchi.